Despite Economic Boom Hong Kong Residents Live in Poverty
Hong Kong is one of the wealthiest places in Asia. The economy of the former British colony is booming , largely because of China’s economic rise . But still, there are over a million who live in poverty in Hong Kong. The gap between rich and poor is becoming bigger.
Not only Hong Kong’s poorest are suffering . Middle class citizens are frustrated because, even though they have good jobs, they can barely make ends meet . Housing prices are going through the roof; food is becoming more and more expensive.
Real estate prices in Hong Kong are skyrocketing , rising up to 20% a year. Many rich people from communist China are coming to Hong Kong and buying up property in the former colony. They can even buy themselves a citizenship if they bring at least 10 million Hong Kong dollars into the city.
While many upper class citizens live in luxurious apartment buildings there are a hundred thousand people in Hong Kong who don’t have enough space to live. Some of them live in cages or containers only a few feet wide.
Man living in a cage in Hong Kong
Despite this, the economy of the new Chinese province could not be better. Unemployment is at a low rate, the stock market is booming and the government has enough money to give $6,000 to every Hong Kong citizen .
This will not help the average middle and lower class resident . Inflation is increasing, due to rising food prices and education costs. At 5% it is at its highest rate since the beginning of the century . The Hong Kong dollar is linked to the US dollar and has lost value over the past years. Hong Kong’s imports have become more expensive, especially oil and food.
Criticism of the government is commonplace . Many suggest that instead of giving citizens money it would be better to spend it on creating new homes and houses. Hong Kong will need more room for its population. Thousands of people from mainland China are moving to Hong Kong to reunite with their families, who fled Communism many years ago.
- average = normal
- barely = hardly
- boom = going up very quickly
- century = a hundred years
- citizen = a person who lives in a country and has rights there
- colony = a country that is controlled by a bigger, more powerful country
- commonplace = widespread ; something that is here all the time
- despite = even though
- due to = because of
- economy = the system of buying and selling goods in a country
- especially = above all
- even though = while
- flee-fled = to escape from
- former = at an earlier time
- gap = difference
- government = the people who rule a country
- instead of = in something’s place
- largely = mainly
- link = connect
- luxurious = very expensive, beautiful
- mainland = here: Communist China
- make ends meet = have enough money to live or survive
- poverty = the situation of being poor
- property = land
- real estate = land, houses or buildings
- resident = a person who officially lives in a place
- reunite = to come together again
- rise = increase, to go up
- skyrocket = to go up to a very high level
- space = room
- stock market = place where parts of a company can be bought or sold
- suffer = to be in a difficult or bad situation
- unemployment = the number of people who cannot get a job
- value = what something is worth
- wealthy = rich